Technically proficient value-add to ‘Stop wasteful military deals’

Reproduced here is the in-depth, technically proficient, response by @ersakthivel published in the New Indian Express to my “Stop wasteful military deals”. I am so much better informed now after ingesting his incisive comments.

IMHO the 200 Kg ballast must have been placed simulating excess weight component that will need to be added as new requirements arose which is a standard practice in any test flight program. For example if IRST needs to ne added to Tejas mk-1 . Then we can replace this ballast with IRST equipment . In the same way this 200 KG extra weight will also replicate the performance of MK-2 .Since in the same way it will simulate the fuselage plug to be added for MK-2 to increase it’s weight. SO he is not far off the mark when he says this. may be he did not give detailed explanations but it is more or less correct. Riaz Khokar in his critical article about Tejas mk-2 expectations also referred to this 200 KG ballast weight in tejas mk-2 and feigned ignorance of it. he should know any way that it simulates the excess weight that may be added in future if IAf asks for further additions.
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 11:58

Since the many weight saving exercise were carried out already reducing the weight of the mk-1 close to a ton this ballast if it is still used in mk-1 will simulate the excess weight of the mk-2. Who did all the IOCs and FOCs for SU-30 MKI? The sukhoi guys? No. Even before the SU-30 MKI was finished as a product IAF put money into it based on the performance of base line version of Su-30 . Without getting so many OCs a squadron of less tested F-35 are already opertating. Also russian airforce is gearing up to introduce without insisting on so many changes and 2300 flight tests spanning 14 years , Just four or five prototypes of PAKFA are up in the air with older engines originally not meant for it. The new engine for PAKFA is yet to get certification. Then how can the Russian airforce introduce PAKFA next year with fewer than 1000 sub standard test flights with fixtures on the air frame and old lesser power engines on which it is running now?
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:01

SO the author is correct on this count as well. wiki states the Range 850 KM and ferry range 3000 KM for tejas MK 1. MK 1 can fly 2X850 Km =1700 KM . If MK 1 can fly 1700 KM than certainly MK2 with additional 40% fuel can at least fly more than 50 percent long distance. Since reserve fuel back up levels will be the same for mk-1 and mk-2 along with the fact it is the take off and sharp manoeuvres which eat up most fuel not cruising at a comfortable fuel burn ratio as per design. After all GE404 is a highly fuel efficient engine and GE 414 IN S 6 goes one step further and it is more advanced than the older engines on RAFALE. So MK2 will have close to 75 % of Rafale’s range in normal design load normal internal fuel condition in which most of the IAF missions are carried out.
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:02

You can’t go lugging tons and tons of extra fuel (bullock cart level close combat performance config )into heavily defended PAk and Chinese air space defended by F-16 newer blocks and Chinese Flanker versions in the same way french are flying over next to no defence air spaces of male and Afghanistan. So even if IAF attempts to fly with such heavy external fuel tanks on the first blush of contact with defending fighters those fuel tanks will be dumped. Fuel capacity of 2 engine Rafale with a few more tons of extra empty weight is 4700 KG against the few tons lesser weight single engine LCA MK2 which has 3000 to 3400 KG of internal fuel. So for normal combat missions which demand high close combat performance with full internal fuel only tejas mk-2 will have almost close to the same range as RAAFLE. In addition tejas mk-2 has air to air refuelling in buddy mode as well . Mk2 can carryout 80 percent of the missions which Rafale can.
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:04

And we have extra super Sukhois FGFAs to cover the remaining 30 percent. With the French already wiggling out of TOT commitments with “HAL —no good” certificate close to 30 billion dollar expenditure is a sheer waste of money on a redundant acquisition, if you consider the sky-high upgrading price for Mirage 2000 will repeat itself for RAFALE. Then we can operate close to 250 tejas mk-2 and 50 extra Super Sukhoi fighters which has complete TOT including engine in our hands. And last but not the least tejas mk-2 will have even lower wing loading with comparable TWR and a a ten percent higher top speeds of mach-2 meaning that tejas mk-2 has better designed air frame using the latest composite tech with close to 60 percent of it’s weight in composites as suggested by CEMEILAC. it will have the same long range BVRs and same powered ASEA radar with matching antena dia as RAFALE.
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:06

Some people are misquoting the clean config RCS of tejas mk-1 as a third of mirage -2000. But the proper quote that can be read from B. Harry’s piece in “Vayu” on tejas is “Tejas will have a third of clean config RCS of the latest 4th gen fighters in design phase. When this comment was made only TYPHOON and RAFALE were in the works, not Mirage-2000. So with no canards and more aerodynamic and RCS optimization that will take place for tejas mk-2 along with far lesser physical dimensions than the TYPHOON and RAFALE you can rightfully expect tejas mk-2 to have far lesser clean config RCS than the RAFALE as well. Also the single engine of tejas mk-2 will release more than 40 percent lesser heat energy into the atmosphere. It means a substantially lesser IRST detection range as well. So for the close to 20 percent shortfall in range over RAFALE Tejas mk-2 has some very significant advantage over RAFALE in home air space defence as well.
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:07

The ASEA for tejas mk-2 is also getting ready with foreign collaboration as well. And tejas mk-2 will always be upgradable with whatever longer range BVRs supplied in future from Russia for FGFA as well. As we are doing the avionics and radar integration on FGFA we can port these close to 200 KM range BVRs on tejas mk-2 as well with no hefty fees and least hassles. That’s what the test pilot Suneth Krishna said that tejas is a modular fighter easily upgradable in batches as all it’s design knowledge is here. The weapon load is never a problem we can operate 3 Tejas mk-2 for the cost of one RAFALE with far lesser per hour operation cost as well. That means for the same price we will have three RAFALE sized ASEA radars with three EW suits along with 21 pylons carrying close to 30 air to air missiles if dual rack launch pylons are added in future.
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:08

So even though making a few mistakes like naming the HPT 40 as HJT 44 and mistaking the comments of french pilots as test flight comments the author is correct by and large. If at all the author mentioned the rejection by IAF of HPT-35 effort by HAL then there would be more questions to be answered. For more info on tejas mk-2 go to defenceforumindia tejas mk-2 thread
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:16

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Asian geopolitics, China, China military, Defence Industry, DRDO, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's China Policy, India's Pakistan Policy, Indian Air Force, Indian Politics, Military Acquisitions, Missiles, Pakistan, Pakistan military, Relations with Russia, russian assistance, South Asia, Strategic Relations with the US & West, Technology transfer, Weapons, Western militaries. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Technically proficient value-add to ‘Stop wasteful military deals’

  1. Yusuf says:

    Te original post is here on my forum

    ersaktivel is a passionate proponent of DRDO projects. It still does not take away from the fact that your article was totally devoid of facts,poor research and severely undermines your credibility.

    Even the IAF has come back with a reply to your article.

    You can follow that discussion on my forum and especially the posts by @p2prada who counters ersaktivel in many regards.

    The thing is yes we need DRDO to deliver good weapons systems. The fact also is that we need weapons systems today to be operationally ready and don’t have time till eternity.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • ersakthivel says:

      Yusuf Ji, Since when did P2Pradaji countered my reply ?
      please follow the discussion here at,

    • ersakthivel says:

      I have posted some stuff on the counter articel by AVM Arjun Subramanium in the following link,

      they are

      I want to know what type of brainstorming went on between IAF and HAL for decades which could not solve the fuel pump issues of HPT-32? And Why with base repair depots good enough to design and make a MMRCA class fighter and assemble a Pliatus level trainer , IAF cpuld not rectify the fuel pump issues of HPT-32 And why did Arjun Subramanium failed to mention about the HPT-35 which too was developed at the behest of IAf by HAL was not pursued with interest by IAF for close to a decade ? it was shelved because IAF did not show any interest. It was this decade long delay by IAF which did not approve the HPT-35 proposal from HAL which led to this sorry state pf importing pliatus while designing tejas!!!!!!!!!! Ajai Shukla and many other writers have pointed this out in many blogs. It is not Bharath Karnard alone.

      In fact this sorry state of affair between HAl and IAF which led to the shut down of Marut (the GOI refused to pay a princely sum of Rs 5 Cr to bristol Siddley to develop a higher power engine for Marut , which latter led to the DPSA contract and induction of Jaguar)led to the creation of ADA to design tejas as a multi disciplinrry team of many labs across the country collborating and succeeding on Tejas. So how can we justify the stalling of the efforts on Marut mk-2s engines for want of a princely sum of RS 5 Crs!!! lso every one knows that corruption and acquisition of hardware goes hand in hand in indian defence purchases.So you just can not accuse Bharath Karnard of casting aspersions of the “sky high credibility of defence purchases” which were highlighted by TATRA truck scam, Agusta westland Scam and the recent scrapping of LUH purchase by Army. So in a decision of 20 billion dollars purchase in a democracy few inconvenient questions have to be answered.

      And the CLAWS of LCA is top class and conversation between test pilots of India , france and Israel could have highlighted this. this is what Bharath Karnard implied when foreign test pilots praised tejas handling abilities, Kota harinarayna the designer of tejas has said that USAF test pilots remarked that the F-16 flies much better with tejas control laws. SO it is not uncommon for pilots to know a thing or two about Claws without even flying it from discussion with fellow pilots on few parameters based on the test flight points that were being opened up in flight envelope. SO it was no bunkum by Bharath Karnard. Jaguar deal is one of the worst scams in IAF, if you wnat to know the details please go to the following link called TKS tales wordpress

      This is what TKS tales tells about the original jaguar before DARIN upgrade. All these problems were rectified by local talent in DARIN upgrade . The main source of inaccuracy in an inertial navigation system stems from the drift of the gyro reference platform due to unavoidable bearing friction and of course from manufacturing defects. Many technologies were tried out to reduce gyro drift. One of the techniques was to immerse the gyro assembly in a fluid bath reducing the apparent weight of the gyro and thus reduce friction and drift. This was known as a ’floating gyro’ system. The Idea was good but its execution was difficult. Fluid leak from the container, especially in hot environment, was a constant headache. Unfortunately, its performance on the field fell below the expected level. It was not accurate enough and it was very hard to maintain. When we became interested in the Jaguar as our potential DPSA, the performance of the NAVWASS was our main discouragement.

      Gradually, it had become clear to the vendors that though we were impressed by the Jaguar, we were not so impressed by the NAVWASS. BAe s sales pitch therefore got modified and an impression was generated that if we wanted an upgraded inertial system incorporated into the Jaguar, it could and would be done easily. Ferranti was, at that time, developing an inertial system based on their version of the dry gyro. Their platform named DINS1084 was on the Tornado. And this light , medium , heavy analogy of classifying the fighters based on weight category is not fit for the new multi role age. french are standardizing on the so called medium RAFALE with no light or heavy component and russians have only heavies called Su-35 and PAKFA with no medium or ligh component. the US will have whole sale F-35 single engine fighter . So can any one classify it as medium or heavy or light?

      The fuel fraction (percentage of weight of fuel divided by eight of the fully loaded fighter)is what determines the range of the fighter. The ferry range of all fighters like Mig-29, RAFALE Mirage-Tejas which all have varying weights is more or less the same.So for normal combat loads with normal fuel config they will all have normal ranges. Also a fully indigenous produced Su-30 MKI is already available for long range bombing. Then what is the need for medium range RAFALE which will have 10 or twenty percentage range advantage over tejas mk-2 at a huge forex outgo of 20 billion dollars? Also FGFA is slated to come in in a decade. Then what role will RAFALE do which can not be performed by combination of tejas mk-2, SU-30 MKI(upgraded to super sukhoi status) and tejas mk-2? So this medium class is totally unnecessary classification designed to fool the inexperienced political leadership and aviation enthusiasts

      if more weapon weight is needed we can use two tejas mk-2s in place of one RAFALE if both have the same range .The real question is what does IAF gain by inducting so called 20 ton class RAFALE as a meium weight fighter ?The french are standardizing on on all RAFALE fighter force with twin engined 20 ton RAFALEs Meanwhile russians are standardizing on 30n ton twin engined PAKFA and Su-35, The US is inducting single engined F-35 in large scale. Unlike IAF the above mentioned airforces need to fly long distances to fight the enemy. It is not the case with IAF.Where most of the targets are well with in short range. And when it comes to air defence of Indian airspace tejas mk-2 will have no shortfalls compared to RAFALE on account of range or weapon load. Also work is already going on ASEA radar miniaturization and LRDE has fair experience in it.
      And we are no longer under crippling western sanctions so we will find partners on that count with no restrictions. Even RFALE has just put on ASEA radar for trials. We don’t how fully developed it really is PAF is going for 120 light class Jf-17, are all these airforces buy any light medium or heavy fighter that is missing from their fleet from any third country? Certainly they won’t do such a stupid thing . Fuel fraction (weight of fuel/loaded weight for normal combat sorties in design weapon loads)determines the range not the fighter being named light or heavy. if tejas mk-2 has same fuel fraction as RAFALE it will also have th same range. Most probably it will end up ten to twenty percent shortage in range nothing big, Also we can employ three tejas mk-2 with 15 ton weapon loads with same radar diameter and long range BVR missiles of RAFALE for the cost of one RAFLE .

      So no shortage when it comes to weapon load. Infact tejas mk-2s will deliver double the weapon load with three times more sensor capability if costs are taken into account MMRCA contract originated as a proposal to buy 126 Mirage -2000 in the late 90s. To avoid the single vendor situation GOI asked it to be a global tender in 2004. Before that there was no long felt need in IAF for so called 20 ton medium weight fighter. tejas mk-2 will have at the most a twenty percent shortage when it comes to weapon load and range requirements over RAFALE. But ordering a few more squadrons of very low priced(because of the 100 percent indigenization) Su-30 MKIs in super Sukhoi versions or increasing the numbers of FGFA to by a few squadrons will be equal to having RAFALEs. Certainly there is no such thing that Su-30 MKi, Tejas mk-2 and FGFA combine can’t do that RAFALE can!!!

      If you spend the same 20 to 30 billion (considering high maintanece cost)in the two coming decades on such tejas mk-2 and and a few extra squads of FGFA or Su-30 MKI IAF can improve its attcaking capability in a substantial manner. We can have more than 300 fighters in such combo compared to just 126 RAFALEs for the same cost. Also the MMRCA contract was changed form life cycle cost based buy to per unit fly away cost mid way. And the winner Dassault which entered the competition knowing well that the HAL is to be its local partner is saying HAL is unfit for the job. if a a no experience private sector firm gets choosen by dassault as local partners then all the TOT norms go for a toss. The MMRCA was not an original need . It was born from the 126 Mirage-2000 buy proposal which was shot down because of single vendor situation by MOD in 2004 , thus it became MMRCA. If MOD promptly accepted the 126 mirage-2000 buy from IAF there would be no MMRCA

    • RV says:

      @Yusuf: Isn’t this forum of yours the one which posts fantastic claims like:

      “India has successfully tested a submarine launched ballistic missile completing its nuclear triad. The missile is believed to be the K-5 with a maximum range of 6000km. Additional details are unavailable due to the secrecy of this test.”.

      What is the credibility of a forum which masquerades a K-15 test as the test of the mythical K-5 SLBM, when even the K-4 SLBM hasn’t been flight tested?

    • RV says:

      @Yusuf: isn’t this forum of yours the one which posts fantastic claims like:

      Indian Defence Analysis
      India successfully tests K-5 SLBM
      JANUARY 27, 2013 4:05 PM 9 COMMENTS

      “India has successfully tested a submarine launched ballistic missile completing its nuclear triad. The missile is believed to be the K-5 with a maximum range of 6000km. Additional details are unavailable due to the secrecy of this test. This test propels India into the elite league of nations having similar class of missiles including US, France and China”.

      The K-5 bit isn’t a typographical error, since this article specifically cites the range of 6,000 kms! What is the credibility of a forum which masquerades a K-15 test as the test of the mythical K-5 SLBM, when even the K-4 SLBM hasn’t been flight tested? It’s pretty rich that you of all people should lecture on credibility, facts, and proper research!

  2. RV says:


    “So far, the Tejas variants have completed 2391 sorties, clocking 1,520 hours in over 12 years.”.

    This figure has been checked out independently, and is a tribute to a/c and the crew associated with it. 1,520 hours of incident-free flying isn’t a joke, even among programs with very strong State backing.

    This statement in the said article is cause for very serious concern:

    “The Finance Ministry’s refusal to grant pension to ADA employees recently (a long-pending demand) has also created heartburn to many working on the Tejas project.”

    Why is this morale breaking activity being done by the Finance Ministry at this stage, when in any Nation where the Rule of Law prevails, the Finance Minister (and many/most of the powers-that-be in the said ministry) would be serving time as part of a chain gang for his role in introducing and persisting with participatory notes (a prime route for money laundering) at grievous cost to the Indian economy, and manipulating the INR currency exchange rate to suit his political masters/mistress and his immediate family?

  3. RV says:

    on November 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm
    @Rahul: Your comment is most puzzling. Russia retired the MiG-21 ages ago and the PLAAF is in the process of planning the phasing out the F/J-7. As of this year, production has ceased and the a/c is being solely retained to keep up squadron strengths, despite an increasingly troubling attrition rate.

    Next, WRT your wise pronouncement:

    “Plz note…………But they can easily decipher out the Flanker mystery. They will not be able to do it for Rafale/Typhoon because that aircraft type is not operated by anyone in our vicinity”,

    you need to be humbly reminded that the Saudi RSAF is one of the largest operators of the Eurofighter (EF) Typhoon, and an overwhelming proportion of the competent air and ground crew in the RSAF are either serving PAF (on deputation) or ex-PAF. Further, the PAF regularly carries out exercises with the RSAF. So, with regards to the EF, there are no secrets from Pakistan and by default other nations too. .Next, WRT to the Rafale, I would like to humbly remind you that Quatar is being actively lobbied as a possible Rafale client. This has taken desperate proportions owing to the fact that the Indian deal is still in the works. See:

    Here again, an overwhelming proportion of the competent air and ground crew in the Quatar Air Force are either serving PAF (on deputation) or ex-PAF. You may be absolutely certain that during the qualification trials, the Rafale will be thoroughly scrutinized by the Pakistanis, and by default other nations too. Further, I am personally aware of the fact that the RBE2-AA AESA radar has been demonstrated to quite a few countries, though I have no evidence that can be cited to that effect! In fact, the French are even planning to place it as part of an upgrade of the Atlantique maritime patrol aircraft, which Pakistan operates. Please see:

    Next, WRT to your astute and wise observation:

    “The main problem politicians/bureaucrats/defence experts have with MMRCA is its somewhat huge price. Always having bought aircrafts with small base prices, like 2 crore/Mig 21 (only to realise that life cycle costs is something like a colossial figure) and siphoning off the rest of the money to Swiss accounts, now they want an escape route when confronted with buying a top class weapon having the price range 100-120 million USD/piece. Because they will not have any leftover money for siphoning off to Swiss accounts.”.,

    I must admit that your logic is refreshingly unique. I wonder as to how a proposed defense acquisition (Rafale) which started off at USD 10-15 billion + full ToT has now acquired a price tag of USD 25-30 billion + no ToT worth mentioning! Further, I cannot recall the last time the IAF acquired a plane costing merely INR 2 crores.

    Finally, a comment on your glowing self-appraisal:

    “And people do call me rational I can assure all of you that”,

    I’ve heard that inmates of certain institutions never admit their malady, but insist that they are absolutely sane, and everybody else needs to be admitted but them.

    . .

  4. RV says:

    This article by Air Cmde. Parvez Khokhar, former chief test pilot of the Tejas program, is certainly worth reading. From:

    A Better Alternative
    Before Tejas Mk II is brought in, experts should weigh all the pros and cons

    By Parvez Khokhar
    Now that sounds coming from the ministry of defence (MoD) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) seem to be suggesting that the Tejas Mk I is just around the corner, the focus seems to be shifting to the Tejas Mk II. This variant appears to be gathering momentum in the eyes of clairvoyant chair-borne pundits, who profess that this will be the panacea for all the ills that beset the indigenous aircraft industry and will also address the desire of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to have a super-duper fighter.

    ADA and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have even widely publicised a time schedule for the induction of this aircraft (too fictional to be mentioned). The granting of permission by the MoD to commence this project and its acceptance by the IAF by placing some initial orders, is not in the public domain. In order to take an educated decision on what the Mk II aims to be and the challenges involved therein, it is imperative to comprehend the facts, as they exist today.

    ADA and HAL have made public statements that work on the airframe will begin by end 2013. Whilst it is apparent that the qualities envisaged in the Mk II are all commendable, they require a closer examination to comprehend the challenges involved in reaching this target without unacceptable time and cost overruns. So what are the major changes envisaged in the Mk II in order to be a quantum leap over the Mk I?

    These are: More powerful engine F-414-GE-INS6; New Flight Control Computer; Upgraded avionics; Retractable In Flight Refuelling probe; On Board Oxygen Generating system (OBOGS); AESA radar; Cockpit upgrade; New Electronic Warfare(EW) suite; and Ability to super cruise (fly supersonic in level flight in dry power).

    These changes will lend value through Higher thrust; More ordnance carrying capacity; Better avionics; Longer endurance with On Board Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS); State-of-the-art radar; Better man-machine interface and situational awareness through larger displays in the cockpit and easier management drills; and Better survivability through better EW suites. This factor will also enhance the operational performance.

    ADA’s contention that all this can be done within two years is based on the example of the Swedish Gripen NG (called Gripen E for in-service usage). ADA has also sought guidance through consultancy from Saab for the Mk II. Before proceeding further, we need to factor in some extremely relevant points, otherwise this comparison becomes rather odious.

    • The Gripen E is an off-shoot of the highly successful Gripen A/B/C/D. The Tejas Mk I is yet to enter service.

    • Saab has over 75-year-old history of design and development of fighter aircraft vis-a-vis ADA/HAL’s nascent experience in producing fighter aircraft.

    • ADA’s record of non-adherence to consultants’ recommendations, especially when it runs against their grain and involves redoing certain aspects of work, is well known.

    • Then there are consultants who merely review your work and either tell you that it is okay or withhold comments that may rock the boat. It is to be seen how much Saab would be involved; ADA should be absolutely clear that Saab will neither build/design this aircraft for them nor give them a blueprint to follow.

    • ersakthivel says:

      But doesn’t the IAF know what are the capabilities of tejas mk-1 even now? If it has capabilities comparable with Grippen C/D(it seems to be) then years of operational service has no relevance when it comes to validating Tejas mk2

      Still the First Grippen demo crashed and SAAB went to US firm for consultations on the all too crucial Fly by wire tech!!!!

      By comparison the ADA seems to have done pretty well in this crucial field concerning the safety of the fighter with no external help!!!!!

      So what use is SAAB’s 65 year old experience if it can not get the Fly by wire flight control software correct even for testing phase?
      It depends on many constraints, time utility and adverse effects on other areas also. People don’t appoint consultants and pay them to simply over rule them. For example TATA appointed a high flying foreign consultant in the 1990s regarding streamlining of their complex business empires .The consultant gave many recommendations , which include selling off many non core business. TATA MOTORS was one among them if my memory is right. The consultants did not see TATA MOTORS surviving the onslaught of multi nationals. In fact many indians thought so. Now TATA MOTOR owns Jaguar and Land Rower and turned in a record profit last year . It is also one of the top 10 truck makers in the world.

      But TATAs sold off many non core stuff like Hamam soap and many other units as per the recommendations, So not every one follows all the recommendations of consultants

      Did the Sweedish airforce changed specs three times in between with lack of foresight like our beloved airforce? If it did so surely there would have been no time bound development in NG program.
      Whatever done or claimed by SAAB has no merit in this discussion. SAAB got all the help from all foreign partners with active support unlike India which was hobbled by tech denial regime till now. So it is not proper to compare the old time lines of Tejas to old time line of Grippen NG.

      truth is if no future export orders are won there are no guarantees about Grippen NG time lines,

      If ADA manages to come out with a much better fighter than tejas mk-1 , it is enough. A few year time over run can easily be overcome with more orders for Tejas mk-1. So it is no more the case of pilots dying because of the delays in tejas mk-1.
      CEMILAC has already given many recommendations on weight reduction including changing the engine mounts to composites and ADA chief himself has said on record that composite content will be increased form 40 percent in mk-1 to 60 percent in mk-2

      Length and diameter of fuselage will be is increased to cater to the needs of new engines

      Air intake is enlarged to cater to the needs of bigger engine.

      And since higher thrust is there a bigger power gen can be put up to cater to the increased cooling needs.

      Naturally with more fuselage dia and length estate management will be better no doubt about it.
      According to the CEMILAC report more lengthened fuselage will help in reducing the drag by 3.7 dbms . This recommendation which was not implemented in mk-1 because the extra weight will negate engine thrust , it fits hand in glove with the bigger thrust engine along with lengthened fuselage in mk-2

      So trouble is expected from extra drag from lengthened fuselage. In fact it will benefit the mk-2 as per CEMILAC recommendations.

      More fuel consuming more thrust engine will give more power so for the fuel consumed enabling the fighter to travel more distance is the general idea.
      By replacing the 200 Kg ballast with On Board Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS); State-of-the-art radar; Better man-machine interface and situational awareness through larger displays in the cockpit and easier management drills; and Better survivability through better EW suites, IRST , and retractable fuel probe it can be ensured that Cg positioning needs are catered to along with improving the fighter performance many fold!!!!!!!!!

      LSP-7 and 8 have aux air intake and ADA propose to enlarge the air intakes in Tejas mk-2. SO I see no problem here. Considering the lifting of crippling tech denial regimes air intake redesign can be done with external consulatnts if needed

      Did IAF specify 33 minutes engine change in it’s 2004 ASR? Or is IAF specifying it now?
      Did Sweedish airforce impose so many conditions before SAAB embarked on Grippen A/B?
      Has IAF imposed such conditions before buying the MIG-21, 23, 29, and Su-30 MKI?
      How did Jaguar with faulty nav attack system making it worthles for the primary DPSA task inended found it’s way into IAF?
      HAs IAF imposed such through studies on FGFA project before deciding to particiapte?
      Or till date does IAF know what will be the final specs of FGFA?
      Ultimate aim of such no holds barred no end in sight examinations mentioned above will only result in more delays.
      More powerful engine will increase the close combat specs of tejas manifold. It is surprising that there is no mention of this in the article,

      One simple question from the days of TD-1 flight , did Tejas capability increased step by step or decrease step by step? Why such tons of pessimism over a project about which no one knows?

      Why should all the scientists in ADA are painted as betrayers of national interests like this?

      The USAf backed F-22,and F-35 , and French did back RAFALE until it got to the F-3, Many airfoces are backing TYPHOON till tranche-III tht too with no ground attack capability worth the money being poured in,Compare it with the backing tejas gets!!!!!!

      It was our good fortune that the missile program had no interference from the forces. If that is so till AGNI-V we would not have inducted a single missile saying this is wrong and that is wrong!!!!!!

      Aim of the Tejas program is to translate national scientific talent into a viable fighting machine aimed at low 300 or 400 in the high-low mix.It is not aimed at satisfying every fancy and dream of IAf after seeing the specs of grippen NG from MMRCA contract!!!!!
      So all fighters that can not change their engine within 30 minutes should be retired from service?
      Only God knows!!!!!!!!!

      • RV says:

        @ersakthivel: You’ve raised some pretty valid counter-points!

      • RV says:

        @ersakthivel: How many people now that the FCS of the JF-17/FC-1 and some other follow-up a/c is written in C++ (and not ADA). This is hardly optimal for the FCS of a a/c whose barycenter is behind the pneumatic center. Still, though the PLAAF hasn’t made up its mind to induct the JF-17/FC-1 in sizable numbers, it is very much in squadron service in the PAF, despite having made its first flight in 2003 (2 years after the Tejas).!

        After interacting with a variety of people on a professional basis, I believe the Tejas should be inducted into squadron service as soon as some mandatory standardization is completed, and whatever subsequent enhancements made thereafter in Tranches. The “snouts in the trough” (IAF brass/MoD/HAL management/DRDO management/politicians/bureaucrats) seem to have decided that the Tejas remain a test a/c forever, lest they lose their pay packets from foreign vested interests.

        If the IAF/MoD had any sense of self-respect and national honor, they would place an order for around 100-120 Tejas Mk. 1, which would provide incentives to private sub-contractors to actively participate in the project and its development. Coming to think of of what sort of production line and supply chain can one expect to build with an order of a mere 40 a/c?

  5. RV says:

    This interview of Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trapp in:

    explicitly highlights the spiraling costs of the Rafale deal. The overall Google Russian-English translation isn’t great, but the relevant portions below are reasonably transparent.

    Question – What is the total amount of the contract?

    Eric Trapp – That’s confidential information, you must ask this from the Indian government.

    Question – As far as the estimate of $ 20 billion?

    Eric Trapp – No, it’s much more.

    This is a data point that confirms the trend made by claims that the Rafale deal will be in the range of USD 25-30 billion.

  6. RV says:

    @ersakthivel: With regards to your latest comment, I have the following issues to state, since you are obviously aware of some of the problems besetting the Tejas, and have suggested certain remedies. I state them herein in point-form for the sake of brevity.

    1. It simply isn’t true that the entire IAF is against the Tejas. There is certainly a handful of such elements in the upper echelons, but one should bear in mind that all the Tejas test pilots are ex-IAF. They wouldn’t be putting their lives on the line for something they don’t believe in.
    2. I personally know of a serving pro-Tejas AM who tried his best to get ADA to shave off (I believe it was 500 Kgs.) of weight from the undercarriage. Was this ever done?
    3. Let’s try to think constructively, and analyze for starters with whatever information/knowledge is at our disposal, what steps need to be taken to get the Tejas Mk. 1 and later the Tejas Mk. 2 into operational service ASAP. In furtherance of that goal, could you write up a technical document with references substantiating every statement/claim and post it (say on Scribd) with a link herein?

    I see the discussion here, though very relevant and pertinent, serving little or no constructive purpose. I would be happy to help in any manner I can.

  7. RV says:

    This article by Air Cmde. Parvez Khokhar is certainly worth reading, especially with regards to the all important issue of documentation (or the lack of it) in the Tejas project:

    Click to access The_Tejas_LCA_and_Beyond.pdf

    I have personally witnessed such careless and pathetic approaches to documentation in Indian ventures,and surely this matter cannot be attributed to a plot by vested interests!

  8. ersakthivel says:

    LCA mk-2 will have a slightly bigger radome dia than the RAFALE if fuselage is enlarged for GE-414.

    LCA mk-2 will have a slightly higher top speeds than RAFALE as well with almost the same clean config RCS of RAFALE.

    other than the longer range and higher pay load on all other parameters the LCA mk-2 will be better than 80 percent of the present IAF fleet.

    And LCA mk-2 will have 120 km range BVR in Astra mk-2, What is the max range of BVRs on MIG-29?

    Even with fully loaded air to air config LCA mk-2 will have far lesser RCS than the MIG-29 . Meaning it can get closer to fire it’s BVRs giving them a much better kill ratios.

    A fully loaded Sukhoi for air to air mission will be spotted by enemy airborne radars at nearly thrice the distance of that of tejas mk-1.

    It will carry the combined weapon load of Jag and Mig-21 with lesser RCS than the MIG-29 and the Su-30 and more thrust to weight ratio than the mirage-2000 with equal detection and tracking range of RAFALE radar with almost the same RCS of RAFALE.

    According to all available open source info the more than 90 percent composite skin on the tejas surface will have a much better resistance to tough weather in India and weighs less with more stealthy characteristics ,

    Already methods were developed to spot the fatigue cracks through state of the art tech and take any corrective action needed.

    17 deg sustained turn rate is the initial ASR set for LCA mk-1 just 1 degree less than F-16 block C/D.

    1.Even with 6G and 20 deg AOA limitation the LCA has already completed a horizontal loop in Aeroindia demo within 23 seconds. That comes to a STR of close to 16 deg with the limitations of partially opened flight envelope.We don’t know whether the plane was stretched even to this partial limit of 6Gs and 20 Deg AOA in that demo.

    Also with the same 6G 20 deg AOA restriction it completed a vertical loop within 20 seconds in AeroIndia 2013 ,meaning it had a STR of close to 18 deg in vertical loop. In a recent fly past the Su-35 too completed the powered vertical loop within 18 seconds. Once again We don’t know whether the plane was stretched even to this partial limit of 6Gs and 20 Deg AOA in that demo.

    Recent reports in a blog indicate that LCA mk-1 has achieved a Sustained Turn Rate to the IAf’s satisfaction even with 1 ton extra empty weight than the original target of 5470 kg. SO it must have improved over the aeroindia2013 demo in a substantial manner.

    So in no way can the initial airframe design can be called draggy.

    Also the TWR ratio of LCA with 50 percent fuel is 1.07. Same for F-16 is 1.25. So with even lower thrust to weight ratio than F-16 C/D , LCA has managed to pull closer to the F-16 C/D .

    In mk-2 it will only further improve, with weight reduction due to more composite percentage and a 20 percent higher thrust engine in GE F414 IN S 6. Since the length of fuselage is going to be expanded by 0.5 meter only it won’t add to much empty weight either.

    Also with an empty weight of 8.5 ton F-16 C/D carries 3.1 ton fuel.

    LCA mk-1 with it’s empty weight of 6.4 tons carries 2.5 ton fuel.SO LCA mk-1 has a close to 10 percent better fuel fraction ratio than the F-16 C/ D. Indicating it won’t suffer much in range in an air to air configuration of 2 ton air to air missile load which is it’s primary role.

    But by having a significantly lower wing loading than the F-16 C/D Tejas mk-1 will have a much better Instantaneous turn Rate than the 26 degree given for F-16 C/ D.

    Even the initial ASR given for LCA by MSD Woollen indicates a requirement of 30 deg maximum attainable in the ADA website.

    So in the all important high off bore sight WVR missile launching capacity based on Instantaneous Turn Rate , it will be better than the F-16 C/D, just going by the low wing loading factor alone.. But needs citation of course.

  9. ersakthivel says:

    Regarding weapon load IAF has changed the BVR missile spec to more weight and more launch stress inducing missiles which resulted in redesign of wing and reduction in weapon load.

    Also once testing telemetry equipment is taken off the LSPs another 0.4 ton will be added.

    And redesign of it’s avionics display is also expected to shave off around 100 to 200 Kg of weight as per some reports from Ajaishukla,

    Taking its weapon load to around 4 tons. Which is what carried on any fighter for a normal mission.

    Within this 80 percent opening it has achieved close to 22 deg AOA and 18 deg STR which is nothing to complain about.

    Once the spin recovery parameters test is completed it will achieve the remaining 20 percent of
    it’s flight envelope parameters.
    And by no stretch of imagination a fighter like LCA which has

    1. a 4 ton pay load ,
    2.capable of firing 120 KM range BVR
    3.with one of the lowest RCS helping it to approach the enemy fighter closer before being detected
    4.capable of launching laser guided long range ground attack munitions
    5.with comparable leading STR and ITR specs

    is going to be history, What is going to be history is the fighters like Jaguar, and MIG-21, 23 and 27(400 of which serve in IAF as on date!!!!!!) which have none of the above capabilities .

    A combination of TWR, wing loading and Instantaneous turn rate at close combat speeds which determine the close combat specs of a fighter,

    It exceeds IAF’s blue eyed beauty Mirage-2000 in all these parameters in a significant manner.

    IAF is spending 40 million dollar a piece for upgrading to each Mirage-2000. Even after these upgrades the60 Mirage-2000s will have lesser TWR, wing loading and Instantaneous turn rate at close combat speeds and lesser climb rate than the Tejas Mk-1.

    Only Su-30 MKI and Mig-29s can exceed the tejas that too by about around ten percent only in close combat specs.
    Both are twin engined fighters with many times higher clean config RCS than the Tejas . And their reliability and availability rate is not as good compared the GE-414 equipped Tejas.

    Some times in a squadron of Mig-29s the availability rate is single digit only.

    So Tejas is as modern and as reliable and as effective as any other fighter in IAF.

    Because it is ours we can introduce any new weapons in future without begging permission from the OE makers and it will be upgraded on regular basis,

    The tejas mk-1 it self will carry both the akash mk-1 and MK-2 which will have 80 Km and 120 Km range in future.

  10. ersakthivel says:

    Mirage 2000s with the IAF have a clean config RCS of 1.2 meters or more,

    So even after launching all BVRs IAF Mirage-2000 (or any other fighter presently in service with IAF including SU-30 MKI) with it’s 1.2 sq meter RCS will present a big enough target for the powerful PLAF SU-30 radars to track and launch.

    But after the lunch of all long range BVRs Tejas will have a much smaller 0.2 meter RCS .

    So it will not be visible to the PLAF flanker ‘s radars from from even medium BVR range forget about long range BVR s.

    SO While PLAF flanker with a 5 meter clean config RCS will be visible to the Tejas fire control radars even in clean config, tejas won’t be be visible to the PLAF flanker fire control radars even in clean config,

    SO the BVRs fired by PLAF flankers won’t be given mid course update by PLAF fire control radars,

    And if PLAF flanker tries to jam tejas mk-1s radar using ESM this jamming alone would be used by tejas to guide the BVR on PLAF flanker without even using it’s radars.

    So PLAF flanker vs IAF Mirage-2000 and PAF F-16 blk 52 Vs Mirage 2000

    will be very different cup of tea compared to

    PLAF flanker vs IAF tejas
    PAF F-16 blk 52 VsTejas

    Even Tejas mk-1 has 10 percent more TWR than the Mirage-2000 and a more powerful MMR radar with 150 km tracking range,

    But Tejas mk-2 will have a difficult to locate and jam ASEA radar along with 20 percent more TWR than the Tejas mk-1, So it will be unbeatable by any legacy fighter on PLAF and PAF fleet , if we strictly use the specs as guidance.

    So the following analogy applies ,

    1.A clean config RCS of 0.3 (not really known , but lets take the statement that it will have a third of Mirage -2000 RCS at face value),

    2. Six air to air missiles with 0.5 X 6 = 3 sq meters will give an RCS of 3.5 meter max to LCA mk-1 in lightly loaded quick response air to air interception role .

    If you do the same calculation for PLAF flanker then it’s clean config RCS of 5 sq meters + 3 sq meters(same 6 X 0.5 sq meter load out) will give a cumulative RCS of minimum 8 sq meters for PLAF flanker.

    So even if PLAF flanker has 30 percent more radome dia giving it a more powerful radar it will present 2.5 times more RCS to the 30 percent smaller dia radar of the LCA Tejas, So in practical terms the big radome dia of PLAF flanker will hold no significant advantage over much smaller RCS of tejas.

    So tracking by both the radars may happen simultaneously in real time with no significant advantage for either one of them,

    But what happens after tracking is very interesting,

    Say a squadron of 20 tejas fighters fire all their 0.5 sq meter BVRs on a squadron of 20 PLAF flanker, and both start evading maneuvers ,

    What happens after that?

    The RCS for tejas will reduce ten fold to just 0.3 sq meter , but for PLAF flanker it will reduce by just 40 percent to 5 sq meters,

    So in theory 20 tejas fighters will vanish from the big powerful radar of PLAF flanker because no PLAF flanker radar can pick up a sub 0.3 meter(clean config RCS) Tejas target from any distance greater than say 50 Km.

    So how will the PLAF flanker give mid course guidance to it’s BVRs to home in on Tejas ?

    The 120 KM range BVrs have their own active seekers , but they can detect tejas only from a closer distance of say 18 Km.

    Simply there is no way PLAF flanker can guide it’s 120 Km or 240 Km BVR on tejas in this circumstances.

    But still all the 20 tejas will see the big 5 sq meter clean config PLAF flanker on their radar screen as big as foot ball. So with their discreet ASEA radars(in MK-2 , and will definitely come in as MLU in MK-1 as well) they will continue to guide them on the much bigger RCS PLAF flanker.

    So there is no guarantee that the bigger PLAF flanker radar will look first, fire first, fill first at all times when it comes to air to air BVR combat?

    That is the reason 4.5th gen fighters are designed with lower RCS , to minimize tracking by opposing fighter fleet’s X band fire control radars.

    If you use lifecycle costing and MLU costing along with maintanenace cost we can field two or three tejas mk-2 for every single PLAF flanker. SO on the first day fleet vs fleet battles each PLAF flanker will have an unenviable job of jamming all the difficult to jam ASEA radars while continuing to be visible to Tejas ASEA radars as targets,

    But Tejas mk-2 in clean config can not be tracked and targeted by PLAF flanker X band fire control radars from any distance greater than 50 Km, But tejas mk-2 will detect any PLAF flanker in clean config from distances in excess of 150 Km.

    it is an undeniable physical fact.

    If stealth external weapon bays are introduced on Tejas mk-2(it is being done in Hornets and F-15 and it can be done on all other fighters) then any PLAF flanker X band fire control radar won’t see Tejas mk-2 from any distance greater than 50 Km
    For more of the same discussion , visit,

  11. Pingback: ADA LCA Tejas - IV - Page 145

  12. Good post! We are linking to this particularly great poost on our
    website.Keep up the good writing.

  13. Shail says:

    Its rather refreshing to read a 2013 Blogpost in 2015 and realise what truth Khokhar said and how much DRDO lied.
    The Mk2 is still a myth. The Rafale will never come, thanks to the Hawks and Doves both of whom strangled the deal for their own reasons, guess what, even the Mk 1 is not here yet.
    And for those claiming magical performances of the Mk 1, why dont you go and fly it and find out for yourself?

    • It is too disappointing to know that even after Parrikar has voted with his feet for tejas mk1A with ESM & ASEA radars, people simply write a few useless line questioning the usefulness of tejas mk1, mk1A & mk2.
      These guys don’t understand a thing abt air combat, where a higher number of optimal fighter squads break the resolve of enemy to even think abt satring a war, few in number, high in cost foreign fighter toys, whose overhauling & tech retained in the hands of foreign vendors who supply both pakistan & india will be suicidal in conflicts where india is unable to win over total diplomatic support for its cause.

      Can any one of the “experts” answer a simple question?

      Do you really think french will brave chinese to stand for india in rafale support in case of conflict with a two front china-pak war??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.